Stanhoe Parish Council

Minutes of Parish Council Meeting

Held on Thursday, 30th April 2015 at 6.00pm
in the village Reading Room

Clerk to the Council – , tel 01485 518409


Mr. T. Austin (TA)
Mrs. P. Austin (PA)
Mr. D. Bridge (DB)
Mrs. R. Brown (RB)
Mr. M. Roche (MR)
Mrs. P. Roche (PR)
Mr. J. Seedhouse (JS)

Two members of public were present.

1. To consider apologies for absence: All members present.

2. To consider approval of the Minutes of the last meeting

The Minutes were approved and signed by the Chairman.

3. To record declarations of interest from members in any item to be discussed

No items recorded.

4. To adjourn the meeting to allow public participation

Two members of the public present but neither wanted to raise any matter in particular.

5. Village Inspection Report

Councillors had carried out an inspection of the village on Thursday, 23rd April and a report with relevant photographs drawn up by TA. The report was circulated to all members.

The ‘Swinging Steps’ item of play equipment had an unsafe bolt suspending one of the supporting chains from the crossbeam. This section of the item had been removed and reported to the suppliers. An inspection was awaited which would determine if a repair was sufficient or a replacement beam required.

A large willow tree on the small pond in Cross Lane requires attention. One quotation from a tree surgeon had been obtained and another two quotations would be sought in the coming days.

A large willow tree beside the main village pond had been casting significant shadow on to the garden of a nearby resident. The tree had been originally planted by the village W.I. who had given permission for pruning to be done. This would be paid for by the resident in question.

The MEHM Trust had agreed to chase up the repair due to be done to the shed beside the village hall and to keep that area tidy. They also agreed to provide a new litter bin for the children’s play area.

A notice would be put in ‘Saints Alive’ reminding residents whose hedges bordered public footpaths that the hedges should be kept trimmed and footpaths kept clear for pedestrians.

6. Geese on the pond

During the current period of nesting and laying eggs, the geese are slightly aggressive. The situation will continue to be monitored.

7. Year End Accounts 2014/15

Year End accounts as at 31st March 2015 were circulated by the clerk. The previous year’s overspend had been reversed and the year had ended with a healthy surplus partly due to an increased annual precept and partly due to there being no major repairs required to playground equipment. No specific queries were raised and acceptance of the accounts was proposed by PR, seconded by PA and unanimously agreed.

8. Financial Report & approval of payment

Income and expenditure reports, budget reports and bank statements were circulated by the clerk for the first month, ending 30th April 2015, of the new financial year. No queries were raised. Approval was given for the payment of the clerk’s salary.

Parish Council insurance was due for renewal on 1st June 2015 and 3 quotations had been received from the broker who recommended the one received from Hiscox Insurance at a premium of £401 for the year. This could be reduced to £380 for the first year if the parish council entered into a 3-year agreement. After some discussion, it was agreed that the Hiscox quotation for a 3-year agreement should be accepted. (Following the meeting, the premium was reduced to £330 due to an adjustment in the fixed assets total). In the subsequent 2 years there would be a small index-linked increase on sums insured.

9. Possible donations to Churchyard maintenance and other charities

The Parochial Church Council had written requesting a donation from the parish council towards the upkeep of the churchyard. A donation had been given in the past. After discussion, PA proposed that a donation should be given which was seconded by PR. The amount of £200 was agreed by all but that it should be accompanied by a specific request for the money to be used towards the maintenance of the new section of the churchyard which was often in need of weeding and tidying.

Requests for donations had been received from various other charities but it had been decided the previous year that money should be given only to those charities which directly benefit local residents. No change was made to this decision.

10. To receive items for the next Agenda – meeting of 9th July 2015

The following items were suggested:

  • Geese on the pond
  • Village inspection
  • Churchyard maintenance
  • Planning matters
  • Possible solar farm
  • SNAP
  • Possible donation to the Burnham Market car scheme
  • Future meeting dates

No other items were discussed but prior to the close of the meeting the chairman gave sincere thanks to those councillors who were standing down at the forthcoming election on 7th May 2015 and who had given many years of loyal service to the parish council.

The meeting closed at 7.10pm. to be followed at 7.30pm. by the Annual Parish Meeting.